White Water Rafting

Essential Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable White Water Rafting Trip


You may have a few questions if this is your first white water rafting. If you were to fall off the raft, what would you do? 

How can you anticipate working with your guide?

Is it safe to go whitewater rafting? (Or your mother has been posing those queries, at any rate.)

Here are some novice whitewater rafting suggestions to help you prepare for your first trip!

Be prepared for a workout.

Powering the raft is not the guide’s sole responsibility. Get ready for an arm workout because everyone will dive in deep (or risk getting called out for “Lilly dipping”). 

To be able to assist in powering the raft with the rest of your group, you don’t need to be an athlete or an expert rafter. But you should be in reasonably excellent shape.

By the end of the day, the lodge’s hot tub will be calling your name!

Wear a life jacket and helmet.

Wear your helmet and life jacket correctly fastened before you drop the raft into the swiftly moving stream. Remember, these aren’t the life jackets your grandfather used to wear when you went fishing as a child. (Do you recall the ones that lay around your neck and had a thin strap fastened around your waist?)

Northern Outdoors offers heavy-duty, Coast Guard-approved life jackets for your whitewater rafting excursion. At first, it will feel very tight, and that’s the intended feeling. 

Why? It may be necessary for your guide or another group member to haul you back in your life jacket. If you fall off the raft, therefore, it’s imperative.

Proper Dressing  

Choosing appropriate clothing for whitewater rafting is undoubtedly among your initial concerns. You should wear stable footwear on your feet; flip-flops are inappropriate. 

River sandals, water shoes, or old sneakers are good options.

Cotton T-shirts are bad for clothing because they absorb heat from the body. Be the man who doesn’t show up wearing jeans, too.

(It will get you wet, I assure you.) On sunny summer days, I usually wear a tank top over a bathing suit and quick-drying sports shorts. However, Maine also has cool or cold days throughout the rafting season. Therefore, fabrics that help retain body heat include wool, polar fleece, and fibre pile.

Hold the paddle properly.

Properly holding the paddle may pose a severe safety risk. One hand should be in position at the base of the paddle on the shaft. ALWAYS place the other hand over the “T” grip at the end of the shaft. 

The rough plastic “T” grip can knock out teeth and cause black eyes. You can maintain control of the paddle and deflect any blows by keeping your hand over the “T” grip.

Consult a qualified commercial guide for the appropriate method.

Have proper swimming Knowledge

There are two techniques when swimming in a river: the “Down River Swimmers Position” and the “Michael Phelps Impersonation.” 

The former involves standing up with your head up and knees slightly bent, using your feet and legs as shock absorbers in case of a rock.

The latter is more popular and is used in rescue situations. When swimming to the shore, swim all the way and avoid standing up in a moving current. 

Most guides avoid walking in water over their shins to prevent “Foot Entrapment.”